Are you entitled to free care and support services without a financial assessment?

There are some cases where customers are entitled to free care and support services and are therefore not required to complete a financial assessment.

If you fit in to any of the following categories you may be entitled to free care and support services:

​If you have substantial and on-going health needs, you may be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding towards the cost of your health needs.

How are your continuing health care needs assessed?

Stage 1

For most people the first stage in the assessment process is to have their care needs screened against a standard CHC checklist. (The checklist indicates if you should have a full assessment)

This may be carried out by:

  • a nurse or a social worker before someone is discharged from hospital
  • a GP or a nurse in a person’s own home
  • a social worker when carrying out a community care assessment.

Stage 2

The second stage is to have a full assessment using a decision support tool. The assessment is usually a meeting between health, social care, yourself and any person you would like to accompany you.

NHS Corby and NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) are responsible for assessing and making the eligibility decision for NHS CHC and NHS-funded Nursing Care in Northamptonshire. There is a national CHC eligibility criteria.

They are also responsible for identifying, arranging and funding all of the services required to meet your needs:

  • if you are assessed as being eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare; or
  • for the healthcare part of a joint package of care with Northamptonshire County Council.

Joint care packages

If you are assessed as not being eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, you may be entitled to a joint package of continuing health and social care.

This means that the NHS and the council may share responsibility for providing and possibly funding the care agreed in your care or support plan. Such arrangements are sometimes known as joint package of continuing care. Even if you are funding your own care you may be eligible for this.

Please note that you may be required to pay a financial contribution to the social care element of your package which is provided by the council. You will be asked to complete a financial assessment form to determine how much you need to pay.

When should CHC healthcare be considered?

If you have ongoing health needs, there are times when staff should consider whether you may be eligible.

These include:

  • When you are ready to be discharged from hospital and your long term needs are clear
  • Following a hospital discharge and rehabilitation or intermediate care, if it is then agreed your condition is unlikely to improve
  • During reviews of your health or social care needs by adult social care
  • If you are in a nursing home and your nursing needs are reviewed
  • If your health deteriorates significantly and any current care seems inadequate
  • If you have a rapidly deteriorating condition and may be approaching end of life

How do I request a CHC assessment?

If you have substantial or on-going care needs that should be assessed or if someone you care for has needs that you think should be assessed, contact the Care Manager if you already have one to request an assessment.

If you do not have a care manager contact your district nurse, doctor or other health professional involved in your care to request an assessment.

How do I find out more?

There is plenty of information available about CHC, you may find the links below useful.

NHS Corby and NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Groups can provide more information on the eligibility criteria and assessment process.

More information:

  • You can also get free advice from Beacon

If you have been in hospital under Section 3, 37, 45A, 47 or 48 of the Mental Health Act 1983 your care and support needs will be free under Section 117 aftercare. The NHS and social services have joint responsibility for your aftercare.

Section 117 means that you will get free aftercare when you leave hospital.

Your care and support needs may include such services as:

  • specialist housing
  • meeting other people
  • finding work, education or volunteering opportunities
  • free prescriptions for mental health medication

If you suffer from a potential terminal illness, you can ask your GP to issue a DS1500 certificate. The certificate contains information about your diagnosis and treatment and entitles you to free care in your own home.

If you are in, or going into a care home and you have a DS1500 certificate, you will still need to complete a financial assessment and you will be assessed in order to work how much contribution you will need to pay towards your care costs.

Request an assessment or review from adult social care

If you or the person you care for has a DS1500 and you would like to request help from the council, please contact adult social care for an assessment or a care review if you already have a care package.

How to request an assessment or review